4 ASIAN LEGAL BUSINESS – INDIA E-MAGAZINE MAY-JUNE 2023 resources in research and development, safeguarding their innovations becomes crucial. We have been advising companies in tackling issues related to patent infringement including standard essential patents, compulsory licensing, trademark and domain name disputes, copyright violations, and misappropriation of confidential information, and more. Online content regulation is an emerging legal challenge, specifically for companies acting as online intermediary platforms. The increasing internet traffic in India has resultantly increased issues related to free speech, misinformation, child safety, impersonation, violation of IP rights etc., thereby increasing the burden of compliance on such technology companies. We have regularly advised and assisted such platforms with respect to safe harbour provisions, adherence to rules on content regulation, and monitoring, detection, reporting and removal of third-party content. Another area where our expertise is often sought is data privacy and security. With the increasing reliance on data-driven technologies, companies must comply with stringent data protection laws and ensure the security of personal and sensitive information. We have assisted clients in addressing challenges related to data breaches, information security management systems, user consent, data localization requirements, cross-border data transfers, and compliance with Indian as well as global data protection standards such as the GDPR, HIPAA, FISMA etc. Regulatory compliance is another key concern for technology companies. The sector operates within a complex legal landscape, and ensuring compliance with sector-specific regulations, licensing requirements, consumer protection laws, e-commerce regulations, and antitrust regulations can be challenging. Further, antitrust issues have become one of the biggest hurdles for technology companies. We have advised companies on potential antitrust issues, abuse of dominant market position, merger control, and regulatory approvals for acquisitions, helping them navigate the complexities of competition law. Additionally, the growing threats of cyberattacks and data theft have heightened concerns over cybersecurity and data theft. As emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, web3, NFTs, virtual reality etc. gain traction, we have assisted clients in understanding and complying with the regulatory frameworks governing these technologies. Sinha: Technology companies doing business in India have to grapple with a rapidly changing regulatory environment. We have seen new rules for gaming and streaming companies; a developing regulatory framework for e-commerce and online advertisements; and stricter regulation of virtual assets. As a result, businesses need to constantly evaluate the impact of new and proposed changes on their business and take proactive measures to ensure business continuity. The digitisation of nearly all forms of businesses has increased the complexity of the operating environment for businesses. Clients along with their trusted advisors need to work in teams to analyze their business decisions from a diverse set of perspectives. The other area that we see focus on is an increasing element of preparing against enforcement actions or contentious situations. Singhania: With the advancement of technology and rise in internet connectivity, we have increasingly witnessed examples of civil and criminal complaints being filed by individuals in far-flung areas against celebrities and influencers for participating in various marketing campaigns whilst alleging violation of existing laws and regulations, including ASCI’s due diligence guidelines for celebrities and social media influencers. Consequently, the interests of such celebrities and influencers have to be defended in the respective jurisdictions where the complaints get filed, including at times through requesting for an online hearing, a facet of technology whose reach and acceptability has been robust. To reflect on the rise in technology, the Department of Consumer Affairs had recently issued guidelines to be followed by celebrities and various social media influencers to prevent misleading advertisements. These guidelines, interestingly, also provided for regulation of advertisements featuring virtual influencers, i.e., fictional characters or avatars possessing realistic characteristics, features and personalities of humans. Such guidelines must be adhered to by tech companies looking to advertise themselves while utilizing AI driven characters/ avatars. Another issue faced by gaming entities is the threat of third-party scams with proceeds being used on their respective platforms. In such cases, the criminal complaint filed results in the bank account of the gaming entities being frozen which can potentially cripple operations. Consequently, we often assist in making representations to the respective law enforcement agencies and coordinate with all concerned parties to ensure that the bank accounts become operational at the earliest. Another challenge that is now being faced by gaming entities, particularly those catching the eye of the law enforcement agencies, is the suspension of their respective internet domains. In such cases, the dispute resolution mechanism of NIXI is explored to arrive at possible resolution and resumption of operations of the suspended domains. With the rapid growth of the online gaming industry worldwide and particularly in India, the government has also sought to provide an impetus to the sector of e-sports. The government also came out with an AVGC policy in order to create a boost for the animation industry. However, there is still a lack of clarity in terms of how e-sports as a sector is sought to be promoted by the government. With the rise in number of OTT platforms, we have witnessed challenges being faced during contract negotiations on behalf of free streaming platforms/ channels to ensure that goals of revenue generation and profitability are met. ALB: Considering the projected growth and potential regulatory changes in the technology industry, what are your predictions for the legal landscape and the specific legal challenges that